“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it.” (Exodus 30:17-18)
Yesterday, we looked at the first prerequisite for worship: Redemption. Today, we will consider the second: Cleansing or, Sanctification.
Not only must we come to God in the name of Jesus Christ, redeemed by His blood and trusting in Him for Salvation, but we must also come before God with clean hands and pure hearts. We are washed in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and it is this which saves us. But in order to enjoy fellowship with the Lord, that is, in order to worship Him, we must be washed clean by the waters of the Bronze Laver.
All of our sin debt was paid in full at the Cross and we are saved based on that. But as long as we continue to live in this world, we are going to become soiled by the stain of sin. This doesn’t mean that we must become saved again every time we sin, but we do need to confess our sin to the Lord and allow Him to wash us clean in order to restore broken fellowship. This is what the Bronze Laver is a picture of: the washing of sin’s stains from a heart which has already been redeemed. The priest approaching the Altar of Incense did not need to go back out to the Altar of Burnt Offering again before lighting the incense, but he did need to be cleansed in the Bronze Laver.
“Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean…” (John 13:8-10)
This is what the Lord Jesus was teaching the disciples when He washed their feet. We have been bathed by the blood of Christ, but our feet are going to pick up some of the dirt and filth of this world for as long as we continue to walk through the world. The Apostle John later reflected on this lesson when he wrote,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
As long as we continue to confess our sins, the Lord will continue to cleanse us from them. Reading through the Pentateuch, we see how often ceremonial washing and cleansing was to be practiced before the worship or ministry of the Lord could be carried out. This stresses the importance of being in right-standing with God before we can worship Him in a way which He can accept and be glorified in.
To God goes all glory. In service to Him,
**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.
[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?”]